John 16:33 – When Christmas Isn’t Merry

Daily Devotional Bible Verse

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)

Christmas can be a lonely, depressing time for many. The “Hallmark Card Christmas” family gathering we are all bombarded with during this season may be true for some. For others though, family estrangement, strife, and bereavement make the holidays anything but merry.

My brother and I reunited after several years and talked about our childhood. Our mother died when we were very young. An alcoholic, abusive father eventually abandoned us, and we ended up in a foster home. As we recounted these events, my brother asked, “Do you remember any Christmas as a kid?” I thought about it and realized I remembered very few. Indeed, every holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving, a dark cloud seemed to begin to follow me around.

As I’ve grown older, I have come to realize I’m not alone in the melancholy funk that surrounds me at Christmas. I’ve also discovered treasure in the “darkness.” Isaiah 45:3 says, “I will give you the treasures of darkness, hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, WHO CALLS YOU BY NAME, am the God of Israel.”

The “riches” I have found in the darkness of holiday melancholy is His Presence – more real than ever experienced in the good times. Lean in, He is there, calling you by name. There is purpose in your pain. He will use it to bless others and glorify Himself. Celebrate His birth this year by encountering Him as never before. Rejoice for others and follow your path. He is waiting in that dark place to celebrate His birthday with you.

Guest Devotions by Randy Zachary. Randy & his wife Monica are the Afternoon Hosts on the WBGL Radio Network. They have a passion for marriages & families, & have been featured on Dr. Oz & the Oprah Network. Learn how you can become a guest writer.

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